City to reduce staffing levels Monday

The City of Biloxi on Monday is shifting to its emergency staffing plan, with about half of the city’s 650 employees sheltering at home on paid administrative leave until recalled to work.

However, staffing of first responders in the Biloxi Police and Fire departments and dispatchers in the city’s Communications Center will remain at normal levels. The move to the emergency staffing is an attempt to help reduce the spread of the coronavirus.

No city department is closing, although recreational centers are closed, and non-emergency city buildings are closed to routine walk-in traffic.

The public has been encouraged to conduct all business — city or otherwise — by phone, email or online.

However, the city’s Water Department billing office on Main Street remains open for drive-through payments. City utility crews will continue daily monitoring of water wells and wastewater lift stations, and Public Works emergency crews will be on stand-by and will be recalled if emergency repairs are needed.¬†

City parks are closed except for walking trails, and routine grass mowing and other such tasks will not be performed during the shelter-at-home period. The city’s four harbors remain open with harbormasters on duty for security, and public boat launches remain open.

The city is following its practices that have become routine for serious hurricane threats.

Department directors have designated employees as either ‚Äúessential on duty‚ÄĚ or ‚Äúnon-essential and shelter at home‚ÄĚ status. Those ordered to shelter at home will be on administrative leave with pay and should abide by the governor‚Äôs shelter at home rules.

During the emergency work period, some employees may be called back to duty. Employees who are not on duty should remain in contact with their supervisors and should report any changes in their health status.

Employees should also check daily with the city’s information hotline (228-435-6300) for any updates on staff operational status. Directors also are being advised to ensure that information is passed to all employees.